Trump's Praise of Robert E. Lee Gets Pushback from Minnesotans Proud of State's Role at Gettysburg

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tags: Civil War, Confederacy, Minnesota, Donald Trump

Standing in the heart of a state that has gloried in its role in helping save the Union at Gettysburg, President Donald Trump extolled at length Friday the battle prowess of a seemingly odd hero — Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Some Minnesota veterans and Civil War historians were surprised to hear the commander-in-chief lavish praise on a man who led the Confederacy's fight against Americans trying to preserve the Union.

"Had he won, we would be two countries," state Sen. Jerry Newton, a veteran who served in the Vietnam War and the Middle East, said Saturday. "That's just unconscionable for me, for him to make those statements."

Newton, a Coon Rapids DFLer, said the president praising Lee "hurt for those of us who have served and who have lost friends in the service."

On Friday, the president told a crowd of thousands at his rally in Bemidji that Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, "won many, many battles in a row."

"It was supposed to end immediately because the North was too powerful for the South," he said. "But it just shows when you have leaders, when you have a great general. And Robert E. Lee, he would have won, except for Gettysburg."

Minnesota has a rich Civil War history, and soldiers from the state are credited with courageous actions and sacrifices that led to victory at Gettysburg.


Read entire article at Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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